Acoustic Emission for Nondestructive Evaluation of Active Crack Dynamics in Concrete Wall of a Highway Bridge Due to Interaction with Freight Traffi c on Railroad that the Bridge Crosses

Acoustic Emission (AE) Sensor Technology has been used for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of concrete back wall of a bridge on a highway crossing over a freight rail line that serves a cargo terminal. The study has three basic objectives: (i) to detect the presence of micro cracks, (ii) to obtain as much information as possible on their locations; and (iii) to determine the contribution of freight traffic on the rail road that the bridge crosses in proximity of the test back wall. AE signals originating from the activity related with cracks were recorded with the help of 8 AE sensors strategically installed for the purpose along the width and height of the wall. The AE data was recorded with the help of a Micro-II Digital DAQTM system designed for on-site real time analysis. AE data analysis detected activity due both to the pre-existing and newly generated cracks. 2D and 3D locator software AEWin has been used to determine dynamics of crack activity. AE contributions from traffic on the road and freight traffic on rail road have been quantified for different test locations. The results of AE activity due both the factors will be discussed. AE monitoring did give time and location of AE activity. The results lead to the conclusion that both the road and the rail road traffic volumes contribute to dynamic and quantifiable AE activity.

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